And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

The youth Bible study you led didn’t go as well as you thought it would. You were prepared and you delivered all the major points. The discussion was okay, but it didn’t seem like the youth connected with the Word. You left feeling inadequate and may have even questioned why you are doing what you are doing. When things don’t go well in ministry, or anything else, it is tempting to get down on ourselves and think that we’re not the right person for the job. Once that happens, it is easy to lose our focus.

In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul brings us back to the main thing: “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (verses 1-5).

Paul’s focus on Jesus Christ alone, in spite of his lack of eloquence and wisdom, is a great model for us. It’s not about us or the words we use. It’s about the power of God working in us through His Holy Spirit. We can go forward, then, confident that God will continue to use us to reach others with the Gospel.

Reflect: Think of a time you felt inadequate about leading a Bible study. As you lead others, what would be a good reminder to you of God’s power? How will I resolve in my work to “know nothing among them but Jesus Christ and Him crucified”?

Lord, help me to take comfort knowing that it is Your power that strengthens faith through Your Word and leads others to You. By Your Holy Spirit, make me to know nothing among those I serve but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so that their faith may not rest in me or in human wisdom, but in Him. And in this way, help me to be Your faithful servant. In Jesus name, Amen.